Friday, June 19, 2009

The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Experiment, and other updates.

Well, the experiment of tracking how much I mentioned my significant other in conversations with other military members is over. The numbers may seem high, but this is primarily because I counted each use of the word or the male pronoun in the conversation. For example, if I said something like, "I really need to talk to X before I respond to this..he's much more practical than I am, and he might have some really good ideas", instead of counting that as 1 instance of talking about it, I would count it as 3-one use of the name and two uses of the male pronoun when talking about someone I'm involved with. "Men, can't live with them, can't live without them" would count as one mention of my heterosexual orientation.

The results are: 1 two hour conversation during which I did not keep track, and 94 incidental mentions over a five day period.

None of these were sexual. At no time did I mention any sort of sexual thoughts about the individual-and I suspect our quiet gay servicemembers wouldn't either, if they were allowed to speak. It was simply the running thoughts that happened to go through my head-the privilege, as you will, that I have had of being able to speak about my relationship and my orientation. The privilege that currently serving gay servicemembers do not have.

In other news, I've been informed that it's entirely possible that my planned and deeply necessary leave may be interfered with or denied because the command which is trying to punish me for my political views may want to hastily speed my actions forward, and not want to see me go anywhere during the process, despite the fact that the regulation allows for it, and despite the fact that this thing has been hovering for about four months. However, don't worry, guys..I am aware that I have lots of legal recourse if they do try anything (having a military lawyer helps out immensely), and I've already informed my first sergeant that I plan to fight this one out to the bitter end. It's so messed up it's almost funny-I'm in many ways being treated more harshly for being a prominent member of the IVAW and for having political opinions different than the majority than other soldiers have been for actual criminal offenses. Soldiers beating their wives, soldiers drinking and driving, soldiers committing assaults on other soldiers...all of these things pale next to the deadly crime of daring to have your own thoughts.

It's also kind of funny in a sad way. They want to say that I don't listen to Army things, but let's take a look at the rules these officers themselves are sworn to uphold...such as, say, the officers creed.

To this end... I will exercise the authority intrusted to me by the President and the Congress with fairness, justice, patience, and restraint, respecting the dignity and human rights of others and devoting myself to the welfare of those placed under my command.

Anyone who thinks that my dignity and human rights have been respected by this process, please raise your hand. I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.

In all my actions I will put loyalty to the highest moral principles and the United States of America above loyalty to organizations, persons, and my personal interest.

In all of their actions they will put loyalty to the highest moral principles and the good US of A above personal loyalties. That would be great, wouldn't it? Because loyalty to the US of A transcends mere politics. It certainly transcends political criticism-rights that were provided for in the Constitution we swore to defend and also in the documents of the founding fathers.

These officers, if they allow my political opinions to influence their actions, will be deying their oath and acting only according to their own personal dictates.

I, in all of my actions, have acted to uphold my oath both as an NCO and to the Constitution. The Constitution created by men who believed that dissent was not only acceptable but crucial to a functioning democracy.

I wonder, if these officers do what they threaten, if they'll be able to do the same?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eloquently put. Most succinctly.